Two Scroll.in articles on climate change win honours at PII-ICRC Annual Awards

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Journalists Mridula Chari and Ishan Kukreti on Friday won honours at the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Press Institute of India Annual Awards 2022 for their articles on climate change published on Scroll.in.

The theme for the awards this year was “Covering Climate Change: Humanitarian Crisis in Focus”. Both the articles were published under Scroll.in’s Common Ground project.

Chari won the third prize at this year’s awards for her article “Battered by climate change, Central India’s forest products are disappearing”. In her article published in January, Chari had detailed how climate change has led to depletion of forest produce that is crucial to millions of people and a Rs 2 lakh crore economy.

For her article, the journalist spoke to residents of six villages in eastern Maharashtra as well as cited studies and reports to highlight the impact of climate change.

Citing one of these studies by scientist Seema Yadav, Chari reported: “91% of the [village] household heads were of the opinion that number of tree species had declined over the years”, while 86% felt that the number of healthy fruit-producing trees of important forest product species had reduced.

Meanwhile, Kukreti received a special mention for his article story about the impact of climate change on dams. The article, “How climate change is making India’s big dams dangerous”, was published on March 23.

Kukreti noted that out of 5,745 dams in India, 293 were built over 100 years ago and 25% between 50 and 100 years. These old dams are not properly equipped to respond to climate change as old rainfall patterns have changed and extreme weather events have increased in frequency, he reported.

“At the root of the problem is the fact that most dams in India were built in the 1970s, and designed for the atmospheric realities of that period,” he wrote. “Now, as those realities shift dramatically with the climate crisis, the same dams that help with irrigation, drinking water and electricity generation are increasingly becoming causes of immense destruction.”

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